Double bottom. The double bottom, extending from the forepeak to afterpeak tank, considerably increases the safety of the vessel in case of serious bottom damage by grounding, which might otherwise result in flooding of the cargo holds or engine room. Moreover, the double bottom, which is subdivided into a number of tanks, is suitable for carriage of water ballast, fuel oil, fresh water etc., and increases the longitudinal strength of the vessel.

The double bottom tanks are accessible from the ship’s holds or tunnel by means of manholes, which are closed by watertight covers with bolts.


Down to her marks. This expression means that the vessel has been loaded to her maximum permissible draught, either winter, summer or tropical loadlines, as the case may be.

Document of title. In modern international trade and shipping this is probably the most important characteristic of the bill of lading. A "document of title" is a document that enables the holder (the person who "possesses" it) to deal with the goods described in it as if he was the owner. "Title" is the right to ownership. "Ownership" can be explained as the right of using, altering, disposing of (that is, selling) and destroying the goods. This "ownership" or "title" can be transferred by a formal transfer of the document, such transfer being an "endorsement" and/or delivery of the document itself.

Dirty. This expression is regulary used in tanker freight market reports and refers to fixtures for “dirty” oils, e.g., fuel oil, lubricating oil and crude oil, in contrast with “clean oils”, e.g., gasoline, diesel oil, etc. A “dirty service” is the tanker transportation of crude oil and residual fuels. A “dirty ship” is a tanker which has been carrying crude and heavy persistent oils such as fuel oil. “Dirty ballast” is ballast that is carried in unwashed cargo oil tanks.


Dreadage or Dreading clause. Grain is usually carried in. bulk or in bags. In a charterparty for grain cargo, a clause can give the charterer the option to ship general cargo with certain restrictions, such as a minimum quantity, and exclusion of cargoes that may cause damage to any grain loaded.

Disbursements. This expression covers all payments made by the ship’s agents for port charges, stevedoring expenses, tug hire, customs fees, stores, bunkers, water, etc., on behalf of owners. The agents may charge a certain disbursements’ commission on such advances, e.g., 2½ per cent.


Deviation. Under the Marine Insurance Act, if a ship, without lawful excuse, deviates from the voyage contemplated by the policy, the insurer is discharged from liability from the time of deviation, and it is immaterial that the ship may have regained her route before any loss occurs.

Deadweight charters. Bulk carriers are sometimes fixed on the basis of a guaranteed deadweight capacity of cargo at certain lumpsum freight. This method of chartering is followed in trades where charterers wish to have freedom of action as to the type of grain they intend to ship, either heavy grain, light grain or a combination of both kinds.

Days on demurrage. These are days by which the agreed number of laydays for loading or discharge is exceeded. In some charters a limited fixed number of days on demurrage is agreed, in addition to the laytime allowed. Shipowners are entitled to damages for detention if, after demurrage days have expired, further delay is experienced.


Daily operating costs. This expression covers the daily running costs of a vessel which can be expressed in a fixed amount per day and which are not conditional upon the quantity of cargo, service speed, etc.


Documentary fraud. This occurs when a commercial party negotiates with a person who turns out to be dishonest and a cheat. A documentary credit may pay for the commercial transaction, for example, where an honest buyer opens a letter of credit based on negotiations between himself and a cheat. The cheat presents forged documents to the advising bank and is paid. The bill of lading features very prominently in documentary fraud because of its very great importance as a document of title. Because of this potential, alternative systems are being developed, such as the use of "sea waybills" and "EDI" or "Electronic Data Interchange" where data about the goods and the mode of their transport are exchanged by electronic means.


Deeptanks. In order to increase the water ballast capacity; many older, multi-deck cargo ships are equipped with deeptanks running from the tank top of the double bottom to the lower or upper tweendeck and extending over the entire breadth. As a rule the deeptanks were constructed amidships forward of the engine room or at both ends. The reason for this was to provide capacity for water ballast, thus improving the draught but with hardly any change in trim.

Days. When a charterparty provides for laytime to be fixed or calculable this can be referred to a number of "days".

Date line. When steaming from West to East time is lost for each time zone. Conversely, when proceeding from East to West time is gained.

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